The new Coleman Flash Cell screwdriver can recharge in 90 seconds flat and it doesn’t use a single battery to do it. How can that be? Rather than rely on rechargeable batteries that can take up to an hour and a half to charge up, the Coleman design relies and a high energy capacitor. Unfortunately, while it can recharge lickety split, users will be charging their screwdriver more often than it’s lithium or NiCad cousins. A basic rechargeable battery powered screwdriver can handle around 35-40 screws between recharge cycles, while the FlashCell gives out after a little over half that (22).
Now while having recharge the capacitor so often may sound like a royal pain, the advantage the FlashCell has is that the capacitor doesn’t have to deal with dying over time (it has a rated charging life of about 500,000 charging cycles) or dealing with memory issues due to inactivity. After remaining idle for months, the maker of the Flash Cell – Products International – claims that the FlashCell will retain about 85% of its charge. That’s pretty impressive.
What’s cool about it is that while this is a new technology, since tools like cordless drills and this one stay idle for a long time with the average household user. And while the power needs of other tools probably render this concept impractical, it could be the next step in focusing on more green technologies that can do the job and keep the environment healthier.